A core principle of Ayurveda is living in rhythm with the seasons. The moon plays an integral role in our living in harmony with nature through our moods, and is reflected in our breathing. Prana is the life force energy which regulates respiration and circulation in relation to the moon, as well as motor and sensory functions.
We inhale cool air and exhale warm air. Cool air is considered to have lunar and feminine qualities of Prakruti, while warm air has solar and masculine qualities of Purusha. Prakruti is considered to be the divine mother of the universe holding the powers of primordial will and form of consciousness, while Purusha is the pure consciousness that exists within the realm of the senses. Prakruti creates all forms in the universe, while Purusha is the witness to this creation. The combination of Purusha and Prakruti combine together to create cellular intelligence, and thus the body is able to function. When we inhale the lunar cool air, it travels behind the bellybutton. When the moon meets the sun behind the belly button, it becomes the new moon which is solar. When we exhale, it becomes the full moon. Respiration is the bridge between Purusha (male) and Prakruti (female) energies, which is what we are trying to balance when we engage in meditation and breathing techniques.
Inhaling through the left nostril will stimulate the right brain, which heightens intuition and compassion. Then exhaling through the right nostril mixes the qualities of moon and sun. Inhaling through the right nostril, we stimulate the left brain and inhale the sun. Exhaling through the left nostril is when the sun is meeting the moon. Prana has qualities of air and ether, but it is primarily ether, which is expressed through the Vata dosha. When someone is experiencing respiratory issues, their Vata is out of balance. This biological process of respiration reflecting the phases of the moon reminds us that we are nature itself.
The brain functions best when the two hemispheres of the brain are working together in balance and harmony with each other. In order to further this balance, you can participate in a moon bathing meditation and/or do alternate nostril breathing. There is a link below with a guided alternate nostril breathing exercise.
A moon meditation just requires you to be present with the moon’s energy. When basking in the moonrays, gently look to the left, to the right, and to the middle with conscious awareness. The moon is nourishing, and makes you more receptive to the cool and calm qualities of it’s divine feminine energy. Inhale deeply and simply allow the natural flow of balance and alignment to wash over you. Drawing awareness to our internal universe and its connection and flow with the external universe will bring a sense of oneness to you. We bring our truest and most genuine self out when we spend intentional time with the earth and the cosmos.
Here is a link on how to do Alternate Nostril breathing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biry04x7rFM
Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad